What it Means to Wait Upon God
“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. “ Isaiah 40:31
What does it mean to wait on the Lord? I believe it’s another way of saying that we trust God. We trust him, as Lord in Heaven, who is in control of everything, to guard our life.
The promise that in Isaiah 40:31 is beautiful. I love the imagery of my strength being renewed. Eagles wings, running without getting tired…I’ll take it all!
It’s important to distinguish the difference, though, between having our strength renewed and getting everything we want (our goals, desires or everything we ask for in prayer). When we wait upon the Lord, we’re trusting God to tell us what our goals are. We’re allowing him to take charge. We’re trusting that what he has planned for our life is far better than anything we could have ever imagined. When we do this, God provides all that we need, exactly when we need it. We can find our strength in him.
We wait. We trust. And even in the waiting, we have all that we need when we are following Jesus.
“Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be.” – John Ortberg
The waiting serves a purpose. God wants us to become more and more like his Son, Jesus- and he knows what it will take for us to get there. He never promised that it would be easy. But he did promise that he will always be with us and that we can trust him. (Deut. 31:6)
I don’t want to try to make things happen for myself or to get what I want if it’s not what Jesus wants. You can get everything you think you want, but if you don’t have Jesus, it’s just not the same without him. If you’ve got him, you’ve got everything.
There is a story in John 21, about Jesus appearing to the disciples on the Sea of Tiberias, after he had already been resurrected. The disciples had been fishing all night but had caught nothing. In the morning, Jesus stood on the shore (but the disciples did not recognize him), and he told the men to cast their net on the other side of the boat, so they did. The net was filled with so many fish that they were not able to haul it in. Then they recognized that this man was Jesus. When they got to the shore, Jesus cooked them breakfast.
One of my pastors said,
“Jesus doesn’t just want to give you the fish. He wants to cook it for you.”- Jon Smith
I take that phrase to mean that when our desires align with what Jesus wants for us, we can trust him to take care of us, every step of the way.
Waiting on the Lord is a posture of the heart. There is a Jesus who loves you so much and he wants to renew your heart. Trust him, absolutely.